GPs told not to prescribe antibiotics to help treat sinus inflammation

There is no evidence steam inhalation or decongestants will make any difference in treating acute sinus inflammation, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The body has developed new guidance on treating sinusitis with Public Health England and has told GPs not to prescribe antibiotics to help cure the condition.

Figures have shown antibiotics are given to 91% of people who visit their GP with symptoms of sinusitis and NICE said the inappropriate use of the drugs fuel resistance.

Dr Tessa Lewis, GP and chair of the managing common infections guidance committee, said: "Health professionals can help their patients cope with this infection and the sometimes unpleasant symptoms it can cause.

"They should tell them that they'll probably be feeling this way for a while, and that unless they are very unwell, the best thing to do is to take paracetamol and 'take it easy'."

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at Nice, said: "Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest dangers to our health, which is why we must all work together to fight it.

"Our new guidance will help healthcare professionals to use antibiotics efficiently and only when they are really needed. This will help to protect these vital medicines and ensure that no one experiences side-effects from a treatment they do not need."

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